Duty Payment: Senate Counters Customs Directives

Duty Payment: Senate Counters Customs DirectivesThe Nigerian Senate has asked the Nigeria Customs Service to stop its proposed clampdown on motorists in the country which the agency said have failed to pay customs duties.

The directive followed a motion of national importance moved by Senator Bala Ibn Na’allah at the floor of the Senate in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Service recently issued a statement signed on behalf of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, granting an extension till April 12 for all vehicle owners in the country whose customs duty has not been paid to do so.

The Senate, at its plenary on Tuesday, said the policy was undesirable and would only worsen the hardship Nigerians were going through.

Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Philip Aduda also condemned what they describe as “anti-people policy” at a time Nigerians are groaning under a recession.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, added his voice to the debate and wasted no time in confirming the stand of the Senate.

Meanwhile, a lawmaker representing Delta Central at the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, informed his colleagues at the beginning of the plenary that he has left the Labour Party for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Senator Omo-Agege’s defection has increased the number of APC Senators to 66.

Senate Demands 44bn Naira Payment For Rice Importation Debt

Nigerian-Senate-Members-in-the-8th-AssemblyThe Chairman of the Nigerian Senate committee investigating rice waivers, Senator Adamu Aliero, has demanded that Stallion Group and Olam International pay 44 billion Naira as import duties on rice importation owed the Nigerian Government.

The two foreign companies, who are involved in rice importation into Nigeria, appeared before the Senate committee which is investigating the flagrant abuse of the rice waiver policy in the nation.

While demanding payment of the money, Senator Aliero, said Nigeria would not fold its hands and watch the huge debt swept under the carpet.

Speaking in his defence, the Executive Director of Stallion Group, Harpreet Singh, claimed that its mission in Nigeria was to ensure that the country was self-sufficient in rice production, and equally ensure that Nigeria is saved from scarcity of the product.

Recently, the Senate summoned the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, to explain why he lifted ban on rice importation through land borders.

Senator Aliero said that the Senate was concerned that the decision by the Comptroller-General of Customs to liberalise the importation of rice to the extent of lifting the ban on land importation of rice would worsen rice smuggling into Nigeria.